Tara LaRosa, Kyra Batara Victorious At FFL: "Epic Evolution"MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa put an end to her three-fight losing skid with a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory tonight at Fusion Fight League: “Epic Evolution” in Billings, Montana. The 13-year veteran defeated a game but outmatched Katie Howard in the 120-pound catchweight main event.

Tonight’s Fusion Fight League card featured three additional women’s bouts including a 110-pound professional fight that saw Kyra “Mogwai” Batara rally to defeat veteran Celine Haga. Batara took control of the competitive fight in rounds two and three and walked away with a Unanimous Decision victory.


LaRosa (22-5-0) and Howard (3-5-1) traded strikes on the feet throughout the opening round and Howard mixed things up with punching flurries and leg kicks. LaRosa landed a left hook and just missed with a head kick, but Howard used her reach advantage to lunge in and out with quick strikes while avoiding most of LaRosa’s counters. Howard landed more leg kicks and appeared to narrowly take the round.

Big punches were exchanged in the second round and LaRosa stunned Howard with a combination. She landed a series of knees and punches in the clinch and knocked Howard down with a spinning backfist. Howard stood, but LaRosa punished her with more knees. She kept the momentum going in round three with lead left hooks and body kicks that left Howard on the defensive. Howard eventually attempted a standing arm-triangle choke that had LaRosa in some trouble, but LaRosa countered with a takedown and she finished the round with ground and pound.

The bout went to the scorecards and all three judges saw the fight for LaRosa, who picked up a much-needed victory in her first fight at 120 pounds. Prior to the recent losing streak, LaRosa had won 18 of her past 19 bouts against many of the sport’s top female competitors.

Winner: Tara LaRosa by Unanimous Decision after three rounds. She improves to 22-5-0.


In featured action tonight, Batara (2-2-0) bounced back after a shaky first round and dominated her fight with Haga (6-13-0) on the mat in the final ten minutes to secure her biggest professional victory to date.

Batara threw Haga to the mat in the opening round, but Haga countered by taking her back and she went to work in search of a rear-naked choke. Batara defended and Haga switched to an armbar, but she lost the position and Batara scored with punches from top position. Haga countered with a triangle choke attempt from her back and Batara escaped once again. She closed out the round with some nice ground and pound, but the opening five minutes belonged to Haga.

Round two was a completely different story, and Batara slammed Haga down to the canvas early on. She landed punches and elbows from Haga’s half-guard and moved to a top-side crucifix. Haga briefly threatened with an arm-triangle choke from the bottom, but Batara broke free and punished her with more strikes. It was more of the same in round three and Batara once again assaulted Haga with hard punches from top position. She mounted Haga and later tried to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke and a kimura, but Haga made it to the final bell.

After three entertaining rounds, all three judges awarded the fight to Batara, who got back on track after suffering a contentious Split Decision loss to Stephanie “The Scrapper” Skinner in November. The talented 20-year-old remains a bright prospect in spite of the rough start to her pro career this past year.

Winner: Kyra Batara by Unanimous Decision after three rounds. She improves to 2-2-0.


Earlier on the card, Cheri Muraski defeated Andrea “KO” Kate by TKO (Punches) at 2:13 of round three to capture the FFL Amateur Women’s Flyweight Championship. Teen prospect Ireland “Bombshell” Moran took a Unanimous Decision win over Jade Buckskin in a strawweight bout. A planned amateur fight between Tasha “The Wrecking Machine” Fourstar and Sonya “The Menace” Wilson was scrapped.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com / InvictaFC.com)